Wearables are a hard business, and TomTom is getting out of it

TomTom Runner GPS Running Watch Cover Pic
It’s likely that you know it best for its GPS software and products, but TomTom has been in the wearables game for years as well. But as we know, and as previously proven by both Jawbone and Fitbit, that’s a difficult game to win. Now, TomTom has announced that it’s laying off 136 employees in order to shift focus away from wearables and towards its bread and butter — mapping and navigation.

The decision comes as a result of the company’s Q2 earnings report, which was announced in July. At the time, the firm noted strong numbers in both its automotive and licensing businesses. Conversely, its consumer products division posted far weaker numbers, with revenue down 20 percent. At that point, the Dutch company had already begun to foreshadow a course correction, with CEO Harold Goddijn noting, “We are not satisfied with the progress we are making (in sports).” Now, it would appear that TomTom is not looking to make any further progress at all in that realm.

57 of the jobs affected will be in the Netherlands, and the remaining positions will be cut from offices including the U.S. and Taiwan.

To be fair, wearables never seemed to be a particular focus of TomTom’s. Indeed, the layoffs represent less than 3 percent of the company’s 4,700-person strong overall team, and indicates precisely where TomTom’s expertise really resides. Its recent decision, then, “reconfirmed its strategy to build on its leading position in navigation technologies and to provide location content, software, and services to business customers,” the company noted in a statement.

TomTom is a partner to a number of large companies, including Uber, Microsoft, Cisco, and Baidu, each of which depends upon TomTom for maps, location data, and traffic monitoring. But even still, the company isn’t giving up altogether on everything outside of these key areas of focus. TomTom noted that it would “continue to sell consumer sports products, and support its Sports customers.”

So while you’re probably good to for buying your GPS devices from TomTom in the near future, you never know — there could be some product differentiation somewhere down the line for the company as well.


Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.
Product Review

2019 Lamborghini Urus first drive review

Twenty five years after the demise of the V12-powered LM002, Lamborghini rejoins the sport-utility segment with the Urus, a veritable tour de force of technology, luxury, and speed.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.

Microsoft patent filing shows wearable that mitigates involuntary movements

A patent application from Microsoft has shown the company is looking into using wearable technology to alleviate symptoms from various diseases and disorders that cause involuntary movements.